Busy beavers

The beavers have been working hard on the ZZZ Ranch south of Fir Mountain, Sask., this spring, forcing owner Kai Lee to break up dams to get the creek flowing again. Pam Lee photos

Did you know?

  • The beaver, also known as Castor canadensis, is the largest rodent in North America. It can grow to more than one metre in length and weigh up to 32 kilograms (70 lb.)
  • A beaver’s paddle-shaped tail functions like a rudder and helps the animal to steer while it moves logs to its dam. It’s also used for balance on land.
  • Beavers are excellent swimmers. Their ears and noses have valves that close while they’re underwater, and their eyes have a clear layer to protect them from debris while swimming.
  • Beaver teeth continually grow, so the animal must gnaw and chew to keep them from becoming too long. Their teeth appear orange because of the high amount of iron in them.
  • Beavers are vegetarians and feed on plants such as cattails, shrubs and tree bark.
  • These industrious animals spend most of their time building dams and lodges in the middle of a lake. Lodges have underwater entrances that lead to dry living areas. When winter approaches, the beavers spread a thick layer of mud across the top of the lodge to keep out predators.
  • The world’s largest beaver dam can be found at Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park. It has a depth of 850 metres, and may have been developed by multiple generations of beavers working on it since the 1970s.
  • If a beaver feels threatened, it will slap its tail on the surface of the water to warn other beavers, then dive deep underwater and swim away from the threat.

Source: canadiangeographic.ca

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